By Jonathan Hughes:Urgh. Woke up to find an invite to sign a petition asking the Chinese Government (via Barack Obama and José Barroso) to stop the slaughter of dogs in China for meat. Suffice to say, it's not a petition I will be signing, nor endorsing. A personal point of note since I live with two cats and love them dearly… if this was about cats, I still wouldn't sign. Here's why:
1) It's speciesist. Clearly. If this needs spelling out - it's just
about dogs. No mention of the way any other animals are killed (for food
or any other use) – they *may* also be skinned alive and treated
terribly. But this petition *only* cares about the dogs. Speciesism is
everywhere and is pervasive – setting up one animal to be more worthy of
saving than others deflects attention away from the countless billions
of 'less worthy' species. The actual text of this petition includes the
following: 'The DOG is always considered, by all civilizations, man's
best friend and it never hesitated to sacrifice its life for men.'
Speciesism in a sentence, right there (and and an unhealthy dose of
misogyny/sexism and turning dogs into an object/non-person with 'it').
The creation of petitions like this just furthers the idea that 'some
lives matter more than others'. I do not subscribe to the view that
*any* awareness of animal suffering is a good thing. Quite the contrary –
this just says that dogs suffer and will do nothing for a reduction in
non-human suffering…. see point 2.
2) Let's say it works –
let's just pretend for one moment that this will actually work – what
then? Will the Chinese dog-eaters switch to Tofu instead? Or, is it more
likely that they will eat pigs, chickens, cats, sheep etc instead? How
is that a win? Great for the dogs but no good for any other non-human.
Net suffering remains the same – the slaughter is just moved to another
species and if we see ALL sentient beings as equally morally important,
how can this ever be considered a win? It simply can't. Pushing
slaughter from one species to another isn't a win. It's a step nowhere.
3) It's xenophobic. Clearly. Why ask 'Race X' to stop eating 'Species
Y'? How is 'Race X' any different to every other race in the world? Over
a trillion animals are slaughtered every year – EVERY race is involved
in this. Why single out one? Because they are 'worse'? Tell that to
every fish that dies gasping for breath on board a boat deck.
4) There is no mention of veganism - no mention at all. There's no
mention of reduced consumption of animal products at all - just an urge
to not use dogs. Non-human suffering will not (effectively) end without
veganism. More vegans = less animal suffering. How about we try and
create vegans instead?
PLEASE just take a step back and *think* about what you sign.
There are numerous other reasons why I won't sign a petition like this...
Find out more here: